How You Can Leave a Lasting Legacy Today, At No Cost
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United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

How You Can Leave a Lasting Legacy Today, At No Cost

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National Estate Planning Awareness Week

October 19, 2023

We’re recognizing National Estate Planning Awareness Week, which runs October 16 – 22.

When it comes to writing a will – or even talking about it– most people shy away. That’s not something they want to think about, especially if they are in good health. But did you know that 67% of Americans don’t have a will?

It’s important to have a will in place if you want to have control over who receives your possessions after you pass away. Without a will, your estate will be divided according to your state's laws, which can become time-consuming, frustrating, and even messy for your loved ones. Having a will makes it easier for your loved ones to handle your affairs and ensures that your estate is distributed according to your wishes.

Even if you’ve already written your will, it’s important to review and update it every 5 years. During that time, life changes like acquiring or selling properties, having children or grandchildren, or any number of events may occur. An outdated will goes right back to the time-consuming and frustrating process your loved ones will have to face.

During National Estate Planning Awareness Week, and all year long, we want to help you leave a lasting impact on your loved ones, and your community.

Just like you want to be able to provide for your loved ones after you’re gone, you also want the community that they live in to be safe, healthy, and financially stable. As of 2017, only 6% of Americans included a charitable bequest in their will. Designating a gift to United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County costs you nothing now and creates a legacy that lasts for generations. You will also be a member of our Legacy Society.

If you’re ready to plan for the future and donate to a charity or nonprofit like United Way, the next steps are simple:

  • Decide what you want to leave. 
    • Will the organization be a beneficiary of a specific gift, like a cash gift, stock, or bond?
  • Decide what kind of beneficiary they will be.
    • A primary beneficiary receives whatever assets you assign to them, like stocks, bonds, or a cash gift.
    • A secondary beneficiary receives the estate if the primary beneficiary passes away before you.
    • A residual beneficiary receives any assets you didn’t specifically name a beneficiary for in your will.
  • You can also name an organization as the beneficiary of a non-probate asset. 
    • This includes things like your life insurance policy, retirement account, or IRA.Freewill Logo

When you’re ready to create your legal will, head to Freewill, our online estate planning tool that helps you write a legal will at no personal cost in about 20 minutes. 

We know that one organization can’t solve our communities’ toughest challenges alone. It takes all of us, working together, to make a difference in the lives of so many that live right here in our neighborhoods. Support your community for generations to come and create your will for free at Freewill. 

If you have designated a gift in your will, life insurance, IRA, or retirement plan for United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, please let us know! We wholeheartedly and sincerely thank you for this gift that will give back to your local community and improve its future. Together, we are Living United.



If you’re interested in including a bequest for United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County and want to learn more,
visit our Legacy Society page or connect with Shemagne O'Keefe Mullins at 414.263.8202.



For more updates on United Way initiatives, follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIN.

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